How Many Islands Restaurants Are There in California?

California, the Golden State, is known for its diverse landscapes, from its stunning beaches to its towering redwood forests. It’s no surprise that this west coast state is also home to a plethora of incredible restaurants. But have you ever wondered how many of these eateries are located on islands? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of island dining in California, exploring the numerous restaurants scattered across the state’s picturesque isles. From fresh seafood to breathtaking views, get ready to discover the delicious flavors and unique culinary experiences that await on California’s islands.

Quick Answer:
I’m sorry, but I do not have access to the current information on the number of Islands Restaurants in California. However, I can tell you that Islands Restaurants is a chain of casual dining restaurants that primarily serve Hawaiian-inspired cuisine. They are known for their poke bowls, which are a popular Hawaiian dish made with raw fish and various toppings. Islands Restaurants have locations in several states, including California, but I cannot provide an exact number without access to current information.

The History of Islands Restaurants in California

The Early Years

The history of Islands Restaurants in California can be traced back to the early 1970s when the first Islands restaurant was opened in the state. It was during this time that California was experiencing a significant increase in population, which led to a growing demand for food service establishments. The rise of the fast-food industry, coupled with the increasing popularity of casual dining, created an ideal environment for the establishment of Islands Restaurants.

One of the significant factors that contributed to the growth of Islands Restaurants in California was the influence of immigration. The state has always been a melting pot of cultures, and this diversity has had a profound impact on the development of its food culture. The influx of immigrants from different parts of the world brought with them their unique culinary traditions, which they adapted to suit the local palate. This fusion of flavors and cooking techniques played a crucial role in shaping the Islands Restaurant menu, which features a wide variety of dishes inspired by different cuisines.

The early years of Islands Restaurants in California were characterized by a focus on quality and innovation. The founders of the company were committed to providing customers with fresh, high-quality food made from the finest ingredients. They also recognized the importance of innovation in the fast-paced food service industry and were quick to adopt new technologies and culinary techniques to keep their menu offerings fresh and exciting.

Another key factor that contributed to the success of Islands Restaurants in California was their commitment to excellent customer service. The company recognized that customer satisfaction was critical to their success and invested heavily in training their staff to provide the highest level of service possible. This focus on customer service helped to build a loyal customer base and establish Islands Restaurants as a trusted brand in the state.

In conclusion, the early years of Islands Restaurants in California were marked by a commitment to quality, innovation, and customer service. These core values continue to guide the company today, and have helped to establish it as a leader in the food service industry in the state.

The Golden Age

  • The rise of islands restaurants in the 1950s and 1960s
    • In the post-World War II era, California experienced a boom in tourism, which led to an increase in demand for restaurants that catered to tourists.
    • Many of these restaurants were located on the state’s numerous islands, which offered a unique and picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy.
    • These islands restaurants were often small, family-owned businesses that served simple, yet delicious, fare such as fresh seafood, sandwiches, and salads.
    • They quickly became popular among both tourists and locals, who appreciated the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful views.
    • The Golden Age of islands restaurants in California lasted throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as more and more people discovered the charm of these unique eateries.
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The Modern Era

  • Changes in the islands restaurant industry in the 21st century
    • Increased competition from new restaurant concepts
    • Rise of fast-casual dining options
    • Emphasis on healthier menu options
  • Impact of technology and social media on the popularity of islands restaurants
    • Online ordering and delivery services
    • Social media marketing and customer engagement
    • Online reviews and ratings influence on restaurant popularity.

The Types of Islands Restaurants in California

Key takeaway: Islands Restaurants in California have a rich history dating back to the 1970s, with a focus on quality, innovation, and customer service. The rise of the fast-food industry and the influence of immigration contributed to the growth of Islands Restaurants in the state. Today, there are various types of Islands Restaurants in California, including traditional Hawaiian restaurants, seafood restaurants, and Polynesian restaurants, offering a wide range of dishes and experiences. The best Islands Restaurants can be found in Northern and Southern California, with notable establishments such as The Island at Santa Barbara, The Lobster House, The Sardine Factory, The Fish Hopper, and The Oyster Bar.

Traditional Hawaiian Restaurants

Traditional Hawaiian restaurants are a staple in California, serving up dishes that reflect the diverse culinary influences of the islands. These restaurants offer a wide range of traditional Hawaiian dishes, including plate lunches, poke bowls, and kalua pig.

  • Overview of traditional Hawaiian cuisine
    Traditional Hawaiian cuisine is heavily influenced by the Polynesian culture, with a mix of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and American cuisine. The dishes often feature fresh seafood, pork, beef, and chicken, as well as local produce like taro, yam, and sweet potato. Traditional Hawaiian dishes are often characterized by their bold flavors, rich textures, and vibrant colors.
  • Popular dishes and ingredients
    Some popular dishes in traditional Hawaiian restaurants include:

    • Haupia: a coconut-based dessert made with cornstarch, sugar, and coconut milk, often served with fruit or in pie form.
    • Lomi Salmon: a traditional Hawaiian dish made with raw salmon, tomatoes, onions, and other seasonings, often served as an appetizer.
    • Kalua Pig: a slow-roasted pig cooked in an underground oven, often served with traditional sides like poi, rice, and macaroni salad.
    • Poke: a dish made with raw fish, rice, and other ingredients, often served as a snack or light meal.
    • Laulau: a dish made with steamed meat (usually pork or beef), wrapped in taro leaves and baked in an underground oven, often served with traditional sides like poi, rice, and macaroni salad.

Seafood Restaurants

The Importance of Seafood in California Cuisine

Seafood has long been an integral part of California cuisine, reflecting the state’s extensive coastline and diverse fishing industry. Fresh, locally-sourced seafood is highly valued by both chefs and diners, with a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical sourcing. Seafood restaurants in California’s islands showcase the bounty of the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay, offering diners a wide range of delicious and innovative dishes.

Popular Seafood Dishes Served in Islands Restaurants

Islands restaurants in California are known for their inventive and flavorful seafood dishes, often incorporating unique ingredients and cooking techniques. Some popular seafood dishes served in these establishments include:

  1. Fresh Oysters: California’s islands are home to numerous oyster farms, providing a steady supply of plump, briny bivalves. Many seafood restaurants feature a raw bar, offering a selection of local oysters accompanied by mignonette, lemon, or cocktail sauce.
  2. Grilled Salmon: Salmon is a staple of California seafood cuisine, and islands restaurants often serve grilled or roasted salmon with a variety of seasonings and accompaniments. The fish is typically locally-sourced and served with vegetables, quinoa, or other healthy side dishes.
  3. Cioppino: This classic Italian-American seafood stew is a staple of California’s coastal cuisine. Islands restaurants often feature cioppino on their menus, with a mix of locally-sourced seafood such as shrimp, scallops, clams, and mussels in a flavorful tomato-based broth.
  4. Seafood Tacos: Inspired by California’s vibrant Mexican-American culture, seafood tacos are a popular dish in islands restaurants. Soft corn tortillas are filled with grilled or battered fish, shrimp, or squid, and topped with fresh salsas, slaw, and other garnishes.
  5. Poached Spot Prawns: These large, succulent shrimp are a prized catch in California waters, and islands restaurants often feature them in delicate poached preparations. Poached spot prawns are often served with garlic-butter sauce, lime, or chili-lime vinaigrette.
  6. Sushi and Sashimi: With a long history of Japanese immigration, California is home to numerous sushi and sashimi bars. Islands restaurants often feature creative rolls and sashimi platters made with fresh, locally-sourced seafood.
  7. Fish and Chips: A British import that has become a beloved American classic, fish and chips are a staple of California seafood restaurants. Islands establishments often feature battered or beer-battered fish, accompanied by crispy fries and tangy tartar sauce.
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Overall, seafood restaurants in California’s islands showcase the diversity and richness of the state’s culinary traditions, offering diners a wide range of flavors and experiences. Whether it’s fresh oysters, grilled salmon, or innovative sushi rolls, these establishments are a testament to the importance of seafood in California cuisine.

Polynesian Restaurants

Polynesian restaurants in California offer a unique dining experience that reflects the influence of Polynesian culture on the state’s cuisine. These restaurants often feature a tropical ambiance, complete with tiki torches, bamboo decor, and Hawaiian music.

Popular Polynesian dishes served in islands restaurants include:

  • Poke bowl: a traditional Hawaiian dish made with raw fish, rice, and various toppings such as vegetables, seaweed, and spices.
  • Hula pie: a dessert made with a rich chocolate cookie crust, banana pudding filling, and whipped cream topping.
  • Mai Tai: a classic Polynesian cocktail made with rum, orange curaçao, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and orzata.
  • Kalua pig: a slow-cooked, whole pig cooked in an underground oven, traditionally served with taro rice and Hawaiian-style barbecue sauce.

In addition to these dishes, Polynesian restaurants in California may also offer other tropical-inspired foods, such as fresh fruit platters, grilled skewers of meat and seafood, and Hawaiian-style pizza. Whether you’re looking for a taste of the islands or just a fun, exotic dining experience, Polynesian restaurants in California are sure to satisfy your cravings.

The Best Islands Restaurants in California

Northern California

When it comes to finding the best islands restaurants in California, Northern California is a prime destination. With a variety of cities and towns to explore, there are many top-rated restaurants to try. Here are some of the top islands restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area, as well as Sacramento and the Central Valley.

Top Islands Restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area

San Francisco and the Bay Area are home to some of the best islands restaurants in California. These restaurants offer a range of cuisines and dining experiences, from casual to upscale.

  • Café du Monde: Located in Fisherman’s Wharf, Café du Monde is a San Francisco institution. This iconic restaurant serves classic Creole dishes like beignets and gumbo, and has a lively atmosphere that’s perfect for a casual meal.
  • Boudin Bakery: Another Fisherman’s Wharf favorite, Boudin Bakery is famous for its sourdough bread and delicious pastries. Stop by for a taste of San Francisco’s famous sourdough, or enjoy a full meal at the bakery’s café.
  • Kokkari Estiatorio: For a more upscale dining experience, head to Kokkari Estiatorio in the Financial District. This Greek-inspired restaurant offers a range of small plates, entrees, and desserts, all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Top Islands Restaurants in Sacramento and the Central Valley

While San Francisco and the Bay Area are known for their island-inspired cuisine, Sacramento and the Central Valley also have their share of top islands restaurants.

  • The Cajun Cabin: Located in Citrus Heights, The Cajun Cabin is a cozy spot that serves up classic Cajun dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. The restaurant has a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and is a favorite among locals.
  • The Poke Bar: For a healthy, delicious meal, head to The Poke Bar in Roseville. This build-your-own poke bowl spot offers a variety of fresh ingredients, including salmon, tuna, and tofu, as well as a range of toppings and sauces.
  • Kona Grill: For a taste of Hawaii in California, visit Kona Grill in Folsom. This upscale restaurant serves a range of Hawaiian-inspired dishes, from grilled shrimp skewers to teriyaki ribeye steak.
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Southern California

  • Top islands restaurants in Los Angeles and the Beach Cities
  • Top islands restaurants in San Diego and the South Bay

Top Islands Restaurants in Los Angeles and the Beach Cities

  • The Islands Restaurant at the Long Beach Hotel
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Westin South Coast Plaza
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Sheraton Manhattan Beach
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Hilton Los Angeles Beach
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Hotel Hermosa

Top Islands Restaurants in San Diego and the South Bay

  • The Islands Restaurant at the Hotel del Coronado
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Marriott San Diego
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
  • The Islands Restaurant at the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego

Note: This is a sample response and may not reflect the actual content of the article.

Other Notable Islands Restaurants

In addition to the highly-rated islands restaurants mentioned previously, there are several other notable establishments throughout California that are worth mentioning. These restaurants offer a unique dining experience and are highly recommended for both first-time visitors and locals alike.

Some of the other notable islands restaurants in California include:

  • The Island at Santa Barbara: This restaurant, located on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, offers stunning views of the ocean and a menu that features fresh seafood and locally-sourced ingredients. The Island is known for its unique ambiance and exceptional service, making it a must-visit for any seafood lover.
  • The Lobster House: Located on the pier in Santa Monica, The Lobster House is a casual seafood shack that serves up some of the best lobster rolls and fish tacos in the state. With a laid-back atmosphere and incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, this restaurant is a great spot to grab a bite to eat after a day at the beach.
  • The Sardine Factory: Located in the charming seaside town of Noyo Harbor, The Sardine Factory is a family-friendly restaurant that offers a diverse menu of seafood dishes, including fresh oysters, clams, and scallops. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • The Fish Hopper: This family-owned restaurant, located in the coastal town of Cambria, offers a unique dining experience with its rustic decor and cozy atmosphere. The menu features fresh seafood and locally-sourced ingredients, and the restaurant is known for its excellent service and delicious food.
  • The Oyster Bar: Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, The Oyster Bar is a classic seafood restaurant that has been serving up fresh oysters and other seafood dishes since 1985. With its cozy atmosphere and incredible views of the bay, this restaurant is a must-visit for any seafood lover visiting San Francisco.


1. How many Islands Restaurants are there in California?

Islands Restaurants is a chain of fast-casual restaurants that primarily serve Hawaiian-style cuisine. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, there were over 80 Islands Restaurants locations in California. However, the exact number may vary as the company may have opened or closed locations since then.

2. What type of food does Islands Restaurants serve?

Islands Restaurants primarily serve Hawaiian-style cuisine, which includes items such as poke bowls, kalua pig, teriyaki chicken, and more. They also offer a variety of side dishes, drinks, and desserts.

3. Are Islands Restaurants only located in California?

While Islands Restaurants has many locations in California, the chain also has restaurants in other states such as Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington. However, the majority of their locations are in California.

4. What is the history of Islands Restaurants?

Islands Restaurants was founded in 1982 by a husband and wife team in Los Angeles, California. The company started as a small eatery called “Island’s” and eventually expanded to become a chain of restaurants serving Hawaiian-style cuisine. Today, there are over 80 Islands Restaurants locations across the United States.

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